Set in fictional town Isenstadt during World War II, Nazis have taken over said town and are minings for crystals called Nachtsonne in order to power up a medallion and access the "Black Sun" dimension. Doesn't make sense? That's fine, the whole point is to kill Nazies in order to save the world.
Best Segmented Time with Über Difficulty: 1:12:38 by Zach 'Duane Jones' R on 2015-01-09 done in 31 segments.
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First off, I want say thanks to IvyVisual and Judgy. The majority of the routing for this run and most of the tricks were found by those two. Also, shout out to Hepe for helping me with some strats, especially the final boss fight.
This game is vastly underplayed and underrated. I still wonder why, with its unique story progression and semi-non-linear gameplay, this game didn't recieve more accolades upon its release and has seen so little attention from speedrunners. Shit makes me sad.
Also, check out the commentary I did with IvyVisual and some others at my youtube channel-- https://www.youtube.com/user/zachblasterson1
Any questions or comments are more than welcome, for serious. Hit me up here on SDA, or on my youtube channel, or throw me an email email@example.com
THE OBJECTIVE SYSTEM
Progression in the game is governed by an objective system. While in the "overworld" sections of the game (midtown west/east, downtown west/east) it is usually necessary to speak to NPCs in order to be given the next objective. Objectives have to be completed as they are given in order to progess forward in the game.
THULE MEDALLION POWER-UPS
Proper use of "the veil," which is accessible upon eceiving the Thule Medallion, is necessary for optimal speed through the game. What follows will attempt to describe the mechanics of the Thule Medallion.
While active, the varying power-ups consume varying amounts of veil energy. (Duh)
Here's a well written description taken from http://wolfenstein.wikia.com/wiki/Thule_Medallion:
"The Medallion uses Veil Energy (also referred to as Black Sun Energy) to function, with each power using a set amount of energy from a reserve indicated by a curved blue bar on the Medallion icon in the bottom left of the HUD. The Medallion's power recharges slowly by itself, but can be recharged far more quickly from Veil Pools; however, only the "Veil" power allows the player to recharge from a pool while using it. Veil Barrels instantly recharge all the player's Veil Energy and can be used no matter what power is currently active.
...(T)he veil...makes BJ move faster, allows him to jump further, highlights most enemies in bright green and enemy weak spots in red, and allows BJ to see through Veil Walls and walk through them."
The mire upgrade, received during the dig site level, is Wolfenstein 2009's version of bullet time. It slows down everything around you. While UN-UPGRADED it slows down the player at the same rate it slows down the universe. When activated after being upgraded, the player moves at normal speed while the world around them is slowed. It can also be used to briefly "interrupt" enemies upon activation.
The empower upgrade enhances damage while active. Empower doesn't need to be active when a projectile is shot from a weapon to register its empowered damage. Empowered damage is achieved as long as the power-up is active when whatever projectile reaches its desired target. (Example: If the player shoots the Leichenfaust at Stage 1 Hans Grosse with empower activated, but deactivates empower before the Leichenfaust projectile reaches the shield surrounding Hans, the Leichenfaust projectile will not penetrate the shield--it will not hit Hans Grosse--it will do nothing.)
This upgrade is rarely used. It eats through a ridiculous amount of veil energy while active. It's only necessary to move through arcing electricity in the game which, if I remember correctly, only happens twice. (Once in the second half of the Farm stage and once during the Zeppelin stage).
RUN NOTES: I'll do my best to be brief here. The written notes will mostly be a list of skips/strats/intricacies used in each segment. For more details it would be best to refer to the audio commentary
SEGMENT 1: Train Station
Throwing the red barrel to take out enemies on the staircase is crucial. It's important to maximize damage from the barrel--and the grenade thrown immediately afterward--as the player must kill all the Nazis in that staircase area to move forward safely. The more you kill with the barrel, the less you'll have to kill with grenades or the MP. This area is actually one of the hardest in the game to get done with a good time. (Seriously, I spent as much or more time on that hallway than I did on the final boss fight).
SEGMENT 2: MIDTOWN WEST
Nothing fancy here. The only thing I found of use is pushing the limits of how far away from Caroline (the quest/mission giver) the player can get during her speech without cancelling her dialogue. One can get about 3/4 up the stairs without cancelling her dialogue during this segment.
After that it's just a mad dash through the streets. Just mechanics here. Shoot the Nazis and don't die. Dying happens often, as the damage dealt to the player on Uber is absurd compared to the other difficulties.
SEGMENT 3: Dig Site
A well timed grenade takes out all the enemies in the room where the player picks up the Thule Medallion.
Using the Mire ability only when absolutely necessary is important here as, without the upgrade, it actually slows down the player's movement.
Right before the collapsing bridge area of the level, I go a bit out of the way to pick up some gold. It takes a few seconds, but it's the best way I could optimize gold pickups/upgrades for the next level and the run as a whole.
SEGMENT 4: MIDTOWN WEST
Here as in segment two, it's important to get as far away from Caroline while she is speaking without cancelling her dialogue.
I use a despawn trick found by Judgy (insert link here) to get rid of a few enemies. The combat time necessary to make it down the street without dying is more than made up for by the small amount of time it takes to perform the despawn.
I go a little bit out of the way to snag two gold pick-ups in this level. This is simply part of the gold routing I use for the run and is necessary to optimize the player's money for purchase specific upgrades at the necessary segments.
SEGMENT 5: MIDTOWN EAST
This is a short segment. Navigating the black market menu for upgrades as fast as possible is the only part of the level that is more challenging than just running forward.
Also, of note, speaking to black market merchants while another NPC is "giving you a mission" either cancels the NPC's dialogue and activates the mission right away, or it will keep the mission-giver talking regardless of the player's vicinity to them. This will come up later in the segment 9, Raven's Nest.
SEGMENT 6: CHURCH
Right at the beginning I walk backwards into the NPC which, for some cancels his dialogue and allows me to move forward a few seconds fast than if I were to wait for the NPC to finish his speech.
Once the Nazi's in the machine gun nests are killed, all enemies in the main area despawn.
There are several strats for the killing the Despoiled (the crazy skeleton Nazi monster at the end of the level). You can cook a grenade, melee him, or just shoot him like I did.
SEGMENT 7: MIDTOWN EAST
By opening the door to the Golden Dawn safehouse at the right time, the player can actually clip through the door. Without clipping through the door, it takes a little less than one second for it to open, allowing the player to pass through.
SEGMENT 9: MIDTOWN WEST
Super short segment. It's just part of the fastest route to get from the Golden Dawn safehouse to the Raven's Nest.
SEGMENT 10: RAVEN'S NEST
Once I active the dialogue from the mission giving NPC, I talk to the black market merchant which allows me to get all the way to the exit door of the level without breaking the dialogue of the NPC that gave me the next objective. Without activating the black market merchant, if I were to get that far away the NPC, it would cancel his dialogue and not activate the next objective.
SEGMENT 11: MIDTOWN WEST
This segment is just the reverse route of segment 9.
SEGMENT 12: MIDTOWN EAST
Using the Mire power, the player can just run through the stage towards the entrance to the next level/segment.
SEGMENT 13: FORTIFIED FARM
Killing the Nazi's in the machine gun nest towards the beginning of the segment without being killed by them, and keeping forward movement as much as possible, requires good control of Mire and some sharp hip shooting.
This segment, more than most others, required diligent rationing of Veil energy and use of Mire. Optimizing progression through the area where the player first enters the underground Nazi base necessitates toggling Mire properly to move past the large amount of enemies without running out of veil energy. (Without having the Veil active the player moves much slower, as previously detailed in the earlier sections describing the Thule Medallion and its upgrades).
SEGMENT 14: CAVERNS
Taking out as many Nazi's as possible while descending in the elevator makes progressing through the first section much less likely to result in the player's death.
The outdoor area at 3:20ish was a huge sticking point in the level. Even with Mire active, the sheer number of enemies in the area and the distance the player is required to traverse requires killing a majority of the enemies from a distance that isn't particularly easy for the MG.
Towards the end of the level is one of the only uses of the shield upgrade--used in order to pass through some arcing electricity without taking lethal damage.
The final area of the level, while mounted on the train's machine gun, is actually possible to complete without firing a single shot. It's pretty random though, and not every instance is able to be done this way. Sometimes the player has to shoot a few of the monsters to survive.
SEGMENT 14: MIDTOWN EAST
Entering the Golden Dawn safehouse, it's important to clip through the door the same way as in segment 7.
SEGMENT 15: HOSPITAL
Managing Veil energy and Mire use is really key starting around 1:13 and then continuing until the boss skip at the end of the segment.
The boss fight skip is awesome--clipping the character model's arm through the force field with the grenade throwing animation skips the entire bossfight. That trick, found by IvyVisual, saves a huge amount of time.
SEGMENT 16: MIDTOWN EAST
Nothing to see here. Just running.
SEGMENT 17: MIDTOWN WEST
No way to skip Caroline's dialogue here. Just gotta wait and run towards the Cannery level.
SEGMENT 18: MIDTOWN EAST
Nothing much to say about this segment. Run towards the objective. Sometimes enemies are all over this area. Sometimes they aren't. RNG.
SEGMENT 19: CANNERY
The pipe skip at 0:29 is difficult to pull off. Another shout out to IvyVisual who found that little skip.
He also found that box skip at 1:39. Good stuff.
This level has a lot of parts that aren't really that impressive to watch, but were actually really really hard to accomplish. There are lots of Nazi's in the larger rooms in this level. And they hurt. A lot. Just throwing that out there.
SEGMENT 20: MIDTOWN EAST
No tech here, just pressing the "W" key.
SEGMENT 21: MIDTOWN WEST
Due to Caroline's location in the basement of the Kreissau safe house, the player can actually make it all the way back up the stairs and very near the safehouse exit without cancelling her dialogue.
I fully upgrade the Empower crystal which makes the MG incredibly powerful per bullet.
SEGMENT 22: DOWNTOWN
This level is simple. Just running--optimizing sprint while avoiding lethal damage situations.
SEGMENT 23: CASTLE
Managing energy while toggling veil upgrades throughout the first section of this segment proved difficult. It's really easy to leave the Empower and/or Mire upgrades active for just a little too long and run your veil energy dry.
Saving enough veil energy to make it past all the Nazis and then kill a hidden veil disruptor with Empower on near 0:45 seconds in the video was definitely the hardest part of this segment. And one of the harder spots in the game. Come at me.
By throwing the Veil energy barrel at the door at 1:42, I despawn the enemies in the room where the player picks up the Leichenfaust.
SEGMENT 24: CASTLE TOP
I get the castle skip (found by Judgy) on my first try, which was super awesome. Happens around 1:23 in the video. Getting this skip on the first try was very important as this segment is the second longest segment in the game (Second only to the Caverns segment, and much more difficult). Between the tech to get through the beginning of the level, the castle skip, and the two-stage bossfight...man.
The stage 1 queen geist boss fight went fine. I got the bad cycle, where you have to fight flying geists 2/3 times. Oh well. The fight still went pretty well.
Stage 2 of the fight goes fine as well, I get the Queen's clip glitch (shout outs again to IvyVisual for finding that one) and find a decent tempo to damage her from inside the character model. I miss a number of leichenfaust shots here, which could lead to a better time in future runs if they were not missed.
SEGMENT 25: DOWNTOWN
Once the Nazi's attack the safehouse area, it's only necessary to get a certain distance further into the level. Once that distance has been achieved, it's just matter of time before the game gives the player the next objective and forward progression can continue.
SEGMENT 26: DOWNTOWN WEST
Here's another level where managing veil energy is important. To activate the entrance to the Airfield level, the player must kill all the REGULAR human Nazis. Doing so without dying to the panzer tank, the despoiled or the female Nazi elite soldiers is really hard. But I do it.
This segment is very short, but the gunplay and movement here is technically demanding. My favorite combat segment of the entire run.
SEGMENT 27: AIRFIELD WEST
The "boss" fight in this level requires good timing and good aim. Once you get the feel for where and when the despoiled nazi's spawn, it's easy to take them out and wait for the female elite to drop and take her out.
SEGMENT 28: AIRFIELD EAST
No real fancy tricks here. Just mechanics. This is the last level where I pick up intel--just enough to purchase the upgrades needed for the particle cannon which I use for the final boss fight coming up later in the run.
SEGMENT 29: ZEPPELIN
Starting at about 1:13 into the segment, careful timing and use of Mire is necessary to move past enemies without getting blocked or dying--even with Mire active. Getting the one-shot on all the zeppelin's engines was super sick too.
At 2:07 is the second and last use of the Shield power up in the game.
SEGMENT 30: HANS GROSSE STAGE 1
Hans Grosse can only be damaged by using the Empower upgrade to get through the shield surrounding the platform he's running around on. There are 3 mini stages of damaging him here. He's only open to damage at certain points. After bringing him to his knees right at the beginning with the single leichenfaust shot we have to wait for a bit before he is actually able to take damage again. During this second mini-phase, he is constantly pumping out huge damage and requires more hits than in the first mini-phase to activate the third and final one.
Dodging, ducking, weaving, using Mire and the rotating pillars is crucial. (Gotta use the four D's: Dip, dodge, duck, dive, and dodge.)
Also, thanks to Hepe for suggesting using the upgraded particle cannon during this phase (and during the second phase) of the Hans Grosse fight. When upgraded, the particle cannon puts out more DPS than the Leichenfaust and is easier to aim/hit with.
SEGMENT 31: HANS GROSSE STAGE 2 & 3
The stage two fight with Hans is the most frustrating part of the game. He randomly runs around the arena. Tracking him down and dealing damage to him without dying to his rockets or his chainguns sucks.
The strat here is meant to use the player's position to force Hans to certain areas of the map. It's not perfect, but by starting out the fight in a certain place and then running to certain areas each time he takes enough damage to prompt him kneeling down and giving out a few lines of dialogue the RNG can be reduced.
The target tracking of the particle cannon shines here.
The only thing difficult in Stage 3 of the Hans fight is running past the Nazi mutant monsters without getting insta-gibbed by their explosives. During stage 3, as in stage 1 and 2, there are only certain times where Hans can take damage. That's why there are parts where he is visible and able to be shot, but I don't shoot at him--because he won't take any damage.
Timing for the segment, and for the run as a whole, ends when the the player jumps through the collapsing portal, initiating the final cutscene of the game.
Thanks for reading.
Again, for a more detailed explanation of the tricks/skips/glitches check out the SDA forums for the FAQ IvyVisual set up. Something like https://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/wolfenstein4.html#wolfenstein4
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